Montreal Quebec – The 7th edition of Pouzza Fest takes place in downtown Montreal from May 19th to May 21st. It features over 150 bands and artists including The Slackers and Mustard Plug playing on the Friday, The Flatliners and Pup performing on the Saturday, and Lagwagon and The Real McKenzies headlining on the Sunday.
One-day passes are $50.00 each or a 3-day pass is available for $ 101.75 giving audiences access to all shows, venues and activities throughout the whole festival. Other Pouzza Fest activities include yoga, grand slam baseball, and much more.
For a full schedule, listing of bands, and where to buy tickets visit the official Pouzza Fest website.
Here are interviews with Pouzza Fest spokesperson Matt Collyer from the Planet Smashers, plus Seth Anderson, Ben Sir of Worst Days Down, Ryan Dix of Old Wives, Jon Christopherson of Raygun Cowboys, and Paul McKenzie of The Real McKenzies.
5 Questions with Pouzza Fest spokesperson Matt Collyer of the Planet Smashers
1 – What does it mean to be the spokesperson of Pouzza Fest? How did you get that role?
It’s fun but I didn’t really have a choice. Hugo made me do it!!
2 – Last year’s Pouzza Fest marked your return to playing live after breaking your neck in January 2016. A year later what do those experiences mean to you? Do you look at life a little bit differently?
Honestly, that show means more to me than any other Smasher show I’ve ever done. There was a time in early 2016 when it was uncertain if I’d ever get back to “normal”. We started cancelling February shows, then March, then April… but I couldn’t let myself cancel Pouzza. in my head Pouzza became a kinda inspirational light at the end of the tunnel, it motivated me in part to get the “F” better!!!
And yes, it changed things for me. I embrace family, friends, and all the good things with more importance. Negative shit isn’t worth the effort… be thankful with what you have attitude.
3 – What can fans expect from Pouzza Fest? Is there going to be anything different from last year? Why should people go?
Really really really good times. You’ll meet your next best friend if you come to Pouzza. In addition to tons of music we also have a baseball tournament, Pouzza Bambino for the kids (which includes Ninja Turtle mascot tossing pizza at people, bouncy castles, field of lollipops, cotton candy, face painting and more!!!!), Punk Rock Yoga (yup), and a beer garden featuring cads of cool beers from Beau’s and Trou Du Diable. And awesome cocktails and bevy’s mixed with Sailor Jerry.
New to this year;
– Pouzza Punk Rock Baseball tournament is now a 2 day event with 12 teams. Woo!
– We’ll have way better food at the outdoor site from L’Gros Luxe
– 2017 venues are all closer together than previous editions so it’s easier to catch more bands
4 – What are you most looking forward to as the spokesperson, and as a musician, and as a fan?
It’s a mix of all of the above. I’m excited to see old touring buddies like Mustard Plug and Real McKenzies along with all the Stomp band members. It’s great getting to see everyone and hang out, shoot the shit and get hammered. Super stoked to see Pup, RVIVR, Sammy Kay, Lagwagon, Tim Barry and many many many more.
5 – Any Planet Smashers news you want to share with our readers?
We’ll be back at Pouzza next year!
Five Questions with musician Seth Anderson
1 – What was it like growing up as a folk musician on the east coast, and how does that differ from your experiences moving out west to Alberta?
I’ve actually spent the majority of my time as a musician living in Western Canada, but being from the east coast music has always been a really big part of my life and is in my blood. Every time I hear bag pipes and fiddles, it still makes my chest puff out a little. Haha. Western Canadian traditional music is really closely connected to the land just as maritime music is connected to the water. Out east, it is the ocean, here it is to the prairies and mountains. I found both to be really inspiring.
2 – What does it mean to be One Week Records and working with the likes of Joey Cape?
It really means a lot to me being given the opportunity to work with Joey and Brian Wahlstrom, who takes care of a lot of the behind the scenes business.
I’ve been touring and putting out albums on my own for around ten years , and to have people take interest in something that you pour your heart into, solely with the intention of helping you, is a really good feeling. I think that the One Week Records idea comes from a pure spirited place too, which makes it that much sweeter to be a part of. Working one on one with Joey was one of the coolest experiences I’ve ever had. He helped me a lot with my writing, and definitely gave me more confidence in what I am doing. And he introduced me to some pretty kick ass Mexican food in San Francisco. Even if that was all I got out of it, I woulda been stoked!
3 – What is your favourite part about your new music video “24”.
One of my best bud’s one year old son, Cardiel, makes a couple of cameos. He is by far the best part about this video.
4 – Are you working on a new album, and what you can you tell us about it?
I do have a new album ready for the studio. I was supposed to record this past spring, but funding didn’t work out, so we are hoping to get it done early fall. Production will be 50/50 full band and raw acoustic tracking I believe. I love the songs that we, a secret producer and I, have chosen and can’t wait to get them out for people. In the mean time, my One Week Record will be coming out on vinyl through Little Rocket Records with a Limited Addition release of 300 copies. They will be available May 12th. Little Rocket has been super helpful, a big thank you to Graeme Philliskirk and Melanie Kaye for making it happen!
5 – What are your thoughts on playing Pouzza Fest? Who are you looking forward to seeing it? What would you like to say to your fans in advance of the festival?
Pouzza is my favourite weekend of the year. I love Montreal. I love the music. I love the hangs with friends. It is just a whole lotta awesome. I wish that I could be there every year. I’m really stoked to see so many of the bands on the line up this year. Red City Radio, Lagwagon, Iron Chic, Tim Barry, Sammy Kay, Jon Snodgrass, the Flatliners, and that doesn’t even scratch the surface. Along with all the new bands I’ve yet to check out. I always fall in love with new music at Pouzza.
I’ll be playing at Foufounes at 1:15 pm for the Acoustic BBQ on Sunday, May 21st. Can’t wait to see some familiar faces, and chances are I will play a new song or two… And I’ll have a few of those One Week Record vinyls with me! See yo guys real soon!
Five Questions with Ben Sir of Worst Days Down
1 – Tell us the story about how your band got together? How did it go from an acoustic solo project to a punk band?
In 2010 my previous band broke up, a relationship ended, and I finished University all at the same time. I knew I wanted to continue with music, but without a group of friends to play with, I took a volunteer position working with wildlife in Guatemala. While there I started writing songs acoustically and figured I’d do that until I had another group of friends to start a band with. I learned a lot in those years, playing and touring solo, and not really have any idea what the hell I was doing. When I moved back to Edmonton in 2013, Kevin, Murphy and Jerome were all set to play. Our first show was in March 2014 and was filmed for a TV series called Secret Setlist that profiled the band. The producers encouraged me to apply, and we were selected. Unbeknownst to them we actually had never jammed so we had three weeks to transition from a theoretical to actual band. Thanks Secret Setlist!
2 – What has it been like working with Europe’s Gunner Records?
It’s really exciting for us. It’s the first time I’ve ever been on a label, so personally it adds some extra drive and motivation. Especially for a label that has put out so many bands and records that we love, I want to earn our place, and show Gunnar that his faith in us is appreciated. It is simultaneously strange as I’ve never had to answer to anyone but myself. I suppose it’s bleeding into the realm of professionalism. We just returned from Europe, our first time as a full band (I previously toured there acoustically, which is how I met Gunnar,) and it went very positively. I hope it was refreshing to him to see that we aren’t complete idiots, and it was great for the other guys to meet him. I respect Gunnar and what he’s accomplished immensely, and mostly we are just thankful to be a small piece in that puzzle.
3 – What can you tell us about your upcoming album Elsewhere coming out May 3rd?
To hold the album physically has felt very gratifying. To think this began with an idea at the start of 2010, to eventually work my way back to having a band, releasing an album I recorded with friends and to travel the world with it feels great. It is a collection of songs written over a few years, but all pretty unified in the ideas of motion, and focusing on getting into the world pursuing what you love. Sounds pretty cheesy, and I certainly often am, but it feels great to hear from people that it’s a good album to throw on while driving long distances.
4 – Your band has toured across North America and Europe and has shared the stage with bands like The Mad Caddies, Lagwagon, Chuck Ragan, The Flatliners, Northcote, Joey Cape, A Wilhelm Scream. Who was one of your favourite bands to play a show with? Do you have an interesting story you could tell us about the show?
That’s difficult to choose but I would pick The Flatliners simply because we’ve become close over the years, and not only are they an amazing band, but they’re even better people. They make me chuckle. We met over a decade ago, when we were all playing to 20 people and to see all they’ve accomplished is incredible. A few years back they kindly took me on tour as a stage tech up the west coast of the states and western Canada. For an unknown schmuck like me to be in San Francisco, walking freely around the Fat Wreck Chords warehouse was pretty incredible. This wasn’t long after Tony Sly from No Use For A Name passed away, and I spotted a duffle bag of his belongings. As a big NUFAN growing up that was heavy. Earlier that year I played with Joey Cape and Jon Snodgrass in Vancouver and Tony’s death was fresh. They played in a band called Scorpios together, and to be even a small cog in that wheel for a couple shows, connecting with people over music and a legacy we commonly adore was pretty special.
5 – What are your thoughts about playing this year’s Pouzza Fest in Montreal? What bands are you looking forward to seeing at the Festival and why?
I’m excited to get back to Montreal. It’s the first time I will be officially playing the festival, but my third time there for it. Last time we were coming home from Europe and I played an unofficial acoustic show, so to be part of the listed lineup feels good. Also being a relatively unknown band will be an interesting challenge. I know we aren’t a marquee name that people are flying into see, but if we continue to work hard then hopefully there’s some buzz and excitement to see us.
It’s always tough to catch all the bands you want to see at festivals like Pouzza, as there’s conflicting schedules, mindbending hangovers, and the city itself to experience. I want to mix it between seeing well known and friends bands , but also smaller ones I haven’t seen like Wolves x 4 , and Typesetter. Iron Chic, The Flats and Daggermouth are high my list, but so are Jon Creeden, Clipwing, and Makewar. That’s a great element of Pouzza, having such a variety of options to choose from. Thanks for taking the time to talk with me.
Five Questions with Ryan Dix of Old Wives
1 – Tell us the story about how your band got together?
Well, Old Wives came about in 2008. A few of the guys had been in bands together previously. Just a sheer love of pop punk really brought us together. I (Ryan) joined in 2009. I had been playing around the city but quickly became a huge fan of the Wives. Luckily, they liked me. They brought me in to a practice, released their current bass player, and the rest is history! Haha!
2 – What has it been like working with Little Rocket Records? What can you tell us about your upcoming album coming out May 5th?
Working with LRR has been a breeze! We really wanted to do right by the new album because we are so stoked on it. LRR just made so much sense to us once we started talking. We were on the same page from day one. The new album is called Three. We called it that for a few reasons – it is our first release as a three piece and it’s our third release (we’ve also got two splits out there with other bands). It’s a real concise album, I think anyhow. There’s a lot of catchy tunes, lots of hooks, and lots of harmonies. We really put all of our combined efforts and musical stamps on this album. Very excited to get it out to everyone!
3 – Tell us about the artwork for your new album Three? Why was Pete Ngyuen the right artist to represent your band and new album?
The artwork again, came back to the album title Three. There are three of us in the band and instead of being vein narcissists and splashing our ugly mugs on the cover, we went with our animals. Darren has a dog and Shaun and I both have cats: so the album cover is us but in pet form! Pete is a good friend of ours! Our first Canadian tour was with Pete’s band (The Weekend Kids). He’s done shirt designs for us in the past and we’ve always been stoked on his work. He works with us until we are all happy with the end result. And this album cover end result, is amazing!
4 – Tell us about your music video Lying Through My Drink and working with Eric Johnson.
Eric is a good friend of the band and when he was in town over the holidays, he carved out some time for us. We got 30 or so friends and fans and crammed them into our rehearsal space – it was gross. Haha! The beer flowed generously and the good times followed! I don’t know that Eric quite knew what he was in for – during takes, people were going crazy. It was awesome! The idea behind the video was that we were practicing in our sweaty gross jam space and really giving it everything we had – to no one. And then, out of nowhere, the place was packed and the party was on! It turned out amazing and really, we owe Eric a debt of gratitude for helping us with this one! But at the same time, he DID spray us with water between every take so, he got what he wanted out of the deal.
5 – What are your thoughts about playing this year’s Pouzza Fest in Montreal? What bands are you looking forward to seeing at the Festival and why?
We love Pouzza Fest! This will be our third year playing Pouzza and every year has been awesome. It’s such a community feel and the venues are all so close together that you’re just walking from show to show and running into all of these great people/bands. Besides stuffing my face with Poutine, I’m personally looking forward to seeing Iron Chic, Direct Hit, Lost Love, PUP, Broadway Calls, Brutal Youth, Daggermouth, Dumb Adults, Weekend Dads… I could go on. This festival never disappoints. You can’t walk in to a venue without running in to a great band.
Five Quesitons with Jon Christopherson of Raygun Cowboys
1 – Tell us the story about how your band got together?
Raygun got together in 2000 originally, It was a totally different band back then though. I was wanting to start a Rockabilly band so I got together with my best friend and drummer Derek Theisen and my former Bass player Mal Syudam. We basically started as a cover band playing mostly British psychobilly stuff. After Mal moved to LA we got our current player Oakland Valleau on Bass around 2003 and thats when we started writing original material and becoming more of a real band. In 2007 we added a horn section which gave us a very unique sound and we started pushing things a little more. since then we’ve been releasing records and touring as much as possible!
2 – What has it been like working with Stomp Records?
Working with Stomp has been great! It’s allowed us to continue as a band in a time that just getting out and doing it is very difficult. I think if we weren’t with Stomp we wouldn’t be as active as we are these days, and it’s gotten the word out about our band more then ever before!
3 – What can you tell us about your upcoming album The Cowboy Code coming out May 5th?
The Cowboys code is our 5th record, so I think with this release we’ve kind of nailed our sound, it’s a good mix of rockabilly, psychobilly and punk which is wha we are. I think the song writing has gotten stronger over the years and this album really shows what we are capable of. in my opinion it’s our best album to date.
4 – Why did you cover an SNFU song? Were they an influence growing up out west? Who else influenced your music?
Well I’m a punk rock kid from Edmonton, so for me SNFU is a huge influence. SNFU is the second live music show I ever saw when I was 13 and it blew my mind. They were incredible. Last year I went on the road with SNFU as tour manager and got to know Chi, Dave Bacon and the guys and become friends with them so I wanted to do a cover of an SNFU song on this record as tribute to those guys. I’m really happy with how it turned out!
5 – What are your thoughts about playing this years Pouzza Fest in Montreal? What bands are you looking forward to seeing at the Festival and why?
Pouzza Fest is a great time! We’ve played it before and are really looking forward to doing it again. I think Lagwagon is a band that I’m really looking forward to, more so though I just like the atmosphere at Pouzza, and the caesars at the stomp brunch!
5 Questions with Paul McKenzie of The Real McKenzies
1 – What does the band hitting the 25 year mark mean to you? b) How did your band initially start? c) What has been your bands most significant accomplishment in that quarter century? Through your band have you lived your life to the fullest?
That we have survived a quarter century and im awfully happy about that. b) With a haggis, a shot of drambuie, a shot of scotch and an innovative concept. c) World dominationin a positive warm and wooly way.
2 – What is the story behind the title of the album “Two Devils Will Talk”?
The album title came up during a conversation between our bassist Troy and our EU agent Muttis over many pints at the legendary Wild At Heart in Berlin. Two Devils are the powers that be in anyone’s life conspiring, making decisions or orchestrating our fates. Sometimes good, sometimes bad.
3 – Should “Northwest Passage” by Stan Rogers replace “Oh Canada” as the National Anthem? b) What did you like about the song and why did your band decide to cover it? c) What have you learned about Canada touring West to East over the years?
No, but The Real McKenzies “Maple Trees Remember should. b) Stan Rogers is Canadian icon. We are proud as Canadians to cover not one, but two of his songs and we’re looking forward to gusselinng a bott’lah booze wi’ ‘im someday. c) That Gladstone is right in the middle. We love Canada and her people. It’s too bad the politics suck. It’s too bad we stand in the shadow of America.
4 – You’ve shared the stage with bands like Nofx, Rancid, Metallica, and many others. Who was your favourite band to share the stage with and is there a good story you can share about the experience?
We have shared the stage with far too many excellent bands to answer that question. Any band with the wherewithal and conviction to put up with a band like the Real McKenzies deserves to share the stage with us.
5 – What would you like to say to your fans about your upcoming concerts May 20th in Arnprior Ontario, and on May 21st at Pouzza Fest in Montreal?
On behalf of myself and The Real McKenzies our hearts and minds are swung wide open. We invite one and all to an absolutely fantastic positive energetic rock n roll show. And don’t forget to bring your mums and dads. We will be waiting for you at the bar. Hurry please, because we’re running out of cash.
Photo Credits: Pouzza crowd shot by Jason Bolduc and photo of Matt Collyer by Susan Moss.
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